Stand-up paddling proves to be good exercise -

Looking for a new sport? Try stand-up paddling

A rapidly growing water sport among watermen - stand up paddling! All you need is a paddle, a board and a body of water.

In the 1960's, the Waikiki Beach Boys would use longboards and canoe paddles to stand up and take pictures of the tourists learning to surf. That's where the sport was born, but now people around the world do it to stay fit.

"People in Europe are really fit they like to keep fit but it's cold most of the time and people don't want to sit in a kayak or they don't want to jump in the lake and swim," said Neil Parmenter.

Stand up paddling or SUP as they call it, is a great alternative. Neil Parmenter is from England and has "sup-ed" in Switzerland. From Colorado to California, Utah and even France or Holland, the sport has gone global.

We found Maria Chorney, a labor and delivery nurse, getting out of the water at Ala Moana Beach. "It just changed my life since I started paddle boarding. I'm stronger and you know I have so much energy. I've lost weight and... I'm happier," she said.

Todd Bradley from C4 Waterman explains, "Where you'll feel you gained strength is in your legs, your knees if you have bad knees it's going to strengthen them."

The full body workout helped Ty Zulim lose 50 pounds. "That would be doing this sport probably three times a week maybe for forty five minutes to an hour and it's not intensive, it's just a nice easy stroll, whether it's a lake, or a river, or an ocean but just something smooth," said Todd.

A board and paddle can run you anywhere from $800 to more than $2,000 for high tech or custom work but, "You know if it comes to a nice pair of golf clubs, or a mountain bike, or something like that. It's about on par. It's a one time expense, once you're done the rest doesn't cost you anything. There are many places you can get it. A lot of kayak stores, a lot of surfing stores, a lot of online stores," Todd explains.

The newest innovation in stand up? A board that weighs less than 20 pounds! "The beauty of this is this board is inflatable this board actually rolls up the size of a sleeping bag," said Todd. The equipment is a bit expensive and kind of clunky but hey, if you've got a strong friend and you're ready to invest in your health, stand up paddling could be the answer for you.

Copyright 2011 America Now. All rights reserved.

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